Southern Silver Exploration Corp. today reported that diamond drilling is underway at its ~1,000-hectare Oro Project in the Eureka Mining District of Grant County, New Mexico, USA. The district is part of a belt of major, precious-metal-rich Carbonate Replacement Deposits (CRD’s) that extend southward from western New Mexico through east-central Mexico.
This first-phase, 1000-metre drilling program is expected to consist of four holes that will test four separate gold-rich CRD target areas. Target selection was based on dump and rock-chip geochemistry and historic underground mine mapping, with each area described in more detail below. Permits have been approved by the BLM and New Mexico State for ten drill sites, allowing for additional phases of drilling.
Production from CRD’s has occurred at the Oro project since the discovery of lead, copper, and silver in 1877 sporadically through the early 1960’s. The New Mexico Bureau of Mines estimates production from the Eureka District between 1880 and 1961 at 2.9 million pounds of lead, 1.7 million pounds of zinc, 0.5 million pounds of copper, 0.45 million ounces of silver, and 5,000 ounces of gold. Reported grades are attractive, in the range of 20 oz/ton Ag, 4% combined Zn and Pb, and up to 0.04 oz/ton Au. Small amounts of very high-grade Ag and Cu mineralization have been reported.
Tertiary felsic to intermediate dikes and small stocks intrude Cretaceous-age carbonate sediments and overlying Laramide-age andesitic volcanic rocks at Oro. Alteration mapping, rock-chip sampling, and creosote plant sampling reveal a well-zoned mineral system, with a distinctly enriched gold zone surrounding a monzonitic intrusion, which regional aeromagnetic data suggest is the upper portion of a small stock. A similar aeromagnetic pattern is observed near the eastern exposure of the Howard vein.
In addition to high-grade, gold-enriched CRD deposits, Oro may host auriferous skarns. Several dump samples of skarn, without vein material, contain up to 1 g/t Au. Such mineralization occurs at Pinos Altos, approximately 40 km to the north, and in many deposits world wide.
The four targets planned for first-phase drilling are briefly described below:
- American Mine Extension - Published historic mine maps show that a westerly dipping mineralized horizon, either a favorable bed of limestone or a thrust, lies along a prominent ENE-trending, high-angle fault. Deeper portions of the mine reportedly contained increasing gold grades to 0.9 g/t where mining ceased. The American mine is one of the largest mines on the property, with production from a 90-metre deep shaft and 600 metres of drifts. The planned drill hole tests the down-dip projection of the intersection of the high-angle fault and the low-angle mineralized horizon to the west of historic workings. A zoning model based on surface geochemistry suggests that the American Mine lies interior to the highest gold values; therefore, the site was chosen to test CRD mineralization farther from the intrusion, where gold should be more enriched.
- Basal Hidalgo Volcanics - A prominent ENE-trending fault cuts the Hidalgo Volcanics near the site and contains gold values in the 1 to 2 g/t Au range. This mineralization is believed to be leakage from significant mineralization in more favorable host rocks below. The base of the volcanic rocks should have been an efficient trap for mineralization; strongly altered to clay, it would have formed a cap, trapping fluids in favorable carbonates below. Rock-chip geochemistry shows a widespread, distinct enrichment in mercury, a highly volatile element, in Cretaceous sediments directly beneath the volcanic rocks, consistent with them partially forming a seal to hydrothermal fluids.
- Howard Veins - Strong dump-sample geochemistry occurs near the site, and gold is particularly enriched (up to 17.5 g/t Au). The veins strike ENE and are exposed with mineralization for approximately 750 metres. There is a weak aeromagnetic anomaly beneath this area, possibly due to a buried intrusion. Altered carbonate conglomerate and limestone should be favorable lithologies for skarn-hosted mineralization, with probable thrust faults as additional favorable targets.
- King Vein - Strong dump-sample geochemistry occurs near the site, and gold is particularly enriched (up to 23.8 g/t Au). The veins strike ENE and are exposed with mineralization for approximately 490 metres. Altered carbonate conglomerate and limestone underlie this area, with probable thrust faults as additional favorable targets.
Southern Silver Grants Options
Southern Silver also reports it has granted 3.3 million incentive stock options to directors, officers, employees and consultants, each exercisable at $0.16 per share and for a period of five years. The granting of the stock options is subject to regulatory approval.
About Southern Silver Exploration Corp.
Southern Silver Exploration Corp. is focused on the exploration and development of quality assets, in significant mineralized trends, close to infrastructure. Its current projects include the copper/gold/silver Minas de Ameca project and the silver/zinc/lead Pinabete project in Mexico, the Dragoon Porphyry project in Arizona and the Oro project in New Mexico. See smartstocks.com for a recent review of the company’s exploration programs.
Rob Macdonald (P.Geo.) is the Qualified Person responsible for reviewing the technical results reported in this release.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
Lawrence Page, President, Southern Silver Exploration Corp.
For further information visit southernsilverexploration.com or please contact Jeff Stuart or Ran Davidson at 1-888-456-1112 / 604-684-9384 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This News Release may contain forward-looking statements including but not limited to comments regarding the timing and content of upcoming work programs, geological interpretations, receipt of property titles, potential mineral recovery processes, etc. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and therefore involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements. Southern Silver Exploration Corp. relies upon litigation protection for forward looking statements.